David Ferrie Appointed Aide to National Commander Civil Air Patrol

David Ferrie
Brig General Stephen McElroy and Captain David Ferrie, Civil Air Patrol

by AuxBeacon News Aggregator | AuxBeacon News

Auxiliary of the United States
Air Force
Ellington Air Force Base Texas

21 January 1960

SUBJECT: Appointment of Aide

TO: Captain David W. Ferrie 482707
New Orleans Cadet Squadron (sep)
New Orleans, Louisiana

1. Captain DAVID W. FERRIE SN 482707 is hereby appointed aide
to the National Commander, for purpose of assisting in promoting the
Aviation Education Program among youth.

Brigadier General USAF
National Commander


Stephen Davenport McElroy was born in Terryville, Connecticut on 2 October 1912. He graduated from Norton High School in Virginia in 1929. After receiving his bachelor of science degree at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1933, he continued his education at VPI and was awarded a master of science degree in architectural engineering the following year.

He became actively interested in flying while in Texas after college and took his first solo flight at Waco, Texas, in 1935. During these years he served his required two-week tours of active duty as a Coast Artillery Reserve Officer. In 1938 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet and after completion of flying training at Randolph and Kelly fields, Texas, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Corps Reserve. In 1940, he received his regular commission

In June 1952, he became deputy commander of the 305th Bomb Wing at MacDill and in September of that year was reassigned to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, as deputy director personnel for the Strategic Air Command. He moved up to deputy chief of staff personnel, Headquarters SAC in December of that year. Following this assignment, he commanded the 376th Bombardment Wing (B-47) at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., for two years and in June 1957, became chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

In January 1959, General McElroy was appointed special assistant to the commander of Headquarters Civil Air Patrol – U.S. Air Force at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. On April 1, 1959, General McElroy assumed command and became the National Commander of the Civil Air Patrol.

David Ferrie was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 28th, 1919. He attended St. Ignatius High School, John Carroll University, St. Mary’s Seminary and Baldwin-Wallace College. In 1944 Ferrie left St. Charles Seminary in Carthagena, Ohio because of “emotional instability.” That instability enabled him to earn a pilot’s license and begin teaching aeronautics at Cleveland’s Benedictine High School, from which he was fired for several infractions, including taking the boys to a brothel. He moved to New Orleans in 1951 where he worked as a pilot for Eastern Air Lines, until losing his job in August 1961, after twice being arrested on morals charges.

Ferrie started with the Civil Air Patrol with the Fifth Cleveland Squadron at Hopkins Airport in 1947. When he moved to New Orleans, he transferred to the New Orleans Cadet Squadron at Lakefront Airport. There he served as an instructor, and later as the unit’s Commander. After a Ferrie-trained cadet pilot perished in a December 1954 crash, Ferrie’s annual re-appointment was declined. He was asked to be a guest aerospace education instructor at a smaller squadron at Moisant Airport, and lectured there from June to September 1955.

On July 27, 1955, 15-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald joined that squadron. In March 1958, a former cadet-turned-commander invited Ferrie back to the New Orleans Cadet Squadron. Ferrie served unofficially for a time and was reinstated as Executive Officer in September 1959. Ferrie quit the squadron in June 1960 after a disagreement during a bivouac. In September 1960, he started his own unofficial squadron, called the Metairie Falcon Cadet Squadron. An offshoot of that Civil Air Patrol unit was the Internal Mobile Security Unit, purposed for the fight against Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

Over the years, he used both his official and unofficial squadrons to develop improper relations with boys ranging in age from 14 to 18, and his August 1961 arrests caused the Falcons to fold. According to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, Ferrie “…found an outlet for his political fanaticism in the anti-Castro movement.” By early 1961, Ferrie was working with right-wing Cuban exile Sergio Arcacha Smith, head of the Central Intelligence Agency-backed Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front in New Orleans. Ferrie soon became Arcacha Smith’s “eager partner in counterrevolutionary activities.” Both were involved in a raid in late 1961 on a munitions depot in Houma, Louisiana, “…in which various weapons, grenades and ammunition were stolen.”

In July 1961, Ferrie gave an anti John F. Kennedy speech before the New Orleans chapter of the Military Order of World Wars, in which “his topic was the Presidential administration and the Bay of Pigs Invasion fiasco.” His tirade against Kennedy was so offensive that he was asked to leave the podium. Later, after JFK’s assassination as predicted by Joseph Milteer, David Ferrie admitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he might have used the expression: “He ought to be shot.” Ferrie insisted, however, that these words were just “an off-hand or colloquial expression.”

In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations stated that available records “…lent substantial credence to the possibility that Oswald and [David] Ferrie had been involved in the same [Civil Air Patrol] C.A.P. unit during the same period of time.” Investigators for the Committee found six witnesses who stated that Oswald had been present at Civil Air Patrol meetings headed by David Ferrie. The Committee also found “credible and significant” the testimony of six witnesses who placed Oswald and Ferrie in Clinton, Louisiana, in September 1963.

1 Comment on "David Ferrie Appointed Aide to National Commander Civil Air Patrol"

  1. Some time ago, I read a story here about a Civil Air Patrol member blowing himself up in an attempt to attack Sugar Cane fields in Cuba. It doesn’t appear to be on your site anymore and I cannot find it anywhere else. Do you have it? If so can you put it back up?

    [Admin note: You are right. We did have it, but it was blown away. We put it back.

    http://www.auxbeacon.org/air-attack-charged-castro-reports-two-americans-killed/ ]

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